Photo by Matthew Hall

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials said Monday the number of COVID cases and deaths in L.A. County remains high but the data shows residents are making progress in the fight against Covid-19.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, who spoke Monday after a short word from Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, touched on the latest dashboard numbers Monday before noting the importance of wearing a mask, which Ferrer said has been proven to be an effective measure in preventing the spread of COVID.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that our recent efforts to slow the spread COVID-19 are working, and I have to emphasize the word cautiously because, although our data is showing signs of stability, everyone knows we do have a delay in getting accurate reporting from our labs, so we’ll stay in the cautious phase until we actually see our numbers for the past two weeks,” Ferrer said as she detailed how the daily hospitalization rates continue to decline every day.

Deaths remained stable with an average of 37 people dying from COVID daily, “which is a high number. And although the data around daily cases is complicated by the missing and backlogged data from the labs, we are seeing that our daily new cases these last few days have stabilized at well below the 3,000 cases we were seeing in the middle of July. It’s still a very high number but it does show that we’re making some progress,” Ferrer said, later adding there were 19 additional deaths Monday, which brings the total number of deaths from COVID in Los Angeles County to 4,996.

“Ninety-two percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions,” Ferrer said, but with the number of deaths hovering around 5,000, that means there are also hundreds who did not have underlying health conditions. So, everybody needs to take care of themselves and the people they interact with.

“We do think that this is a fairly accurate count for positive test results for (Monday),” but there is still a backlog of tests, Ferrer added, stating the total number of cases in L.A. County now sits at 210,424.

“This progress that we’ve made is essential as we continue building what we call our new normal this month so we can get to a point where we’re able to reopen our schools… and more of our neighbors are able to get back to work,” Ferrer said. “But the new normal means that as individuals, we’re going to make some choices. And we have to make the best possible choices we can. This will mean continuing to avoid crowds, avoiding being physically close to people when we leave our homes, avoiding gatherings with people we don’t live with, and we have to continue to wear our face coverings.”

brennon@smdp.com